Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Thursday, March 1, 2012

~ Read Genesis 44-45 Text & Audio

Lord God,

I know it sounds strange, but sometimes I feel bad for Joseph's brothers. Though I know that what they did to Joseph was reprehensible, I sympathize with the way they must have felt when everything seemed to be going wrong—when they thought they would have to return to their father without their youngest brother Benjamin. Their hearts must have sunk, and their spirits deflated. I understand how that feels, Lord God. I've been there, so I can sympathize with what they must have been feeling.

At the same time, Lord, I understand why Joseph seemed intent on making them "sweat it out" for a little while before revealing himself to them. I don't know if he was justified in doing so, but I certainly understand why he did it, and it demonstrates the conflicting nature of my spirit.

On the one hand, gracious God, when I am confronted by a sin, I've committed, I'm inclined to beg for mercy. On the other hand, when other's sin against me, I tend to seek justice. Though I realize there is nothing wrong with either justice or mercy, since you maintain both, I confess that my approach is skewed. I need balance one with the other in all circumstances, just as you have done with me.

I cannot seek justice for others without accepting it for myself. Nor can I expect mercy from them, if I am not willing to give it out in equal measures. So that is my prayer today, Lord God. That is what I long for you to do in my life. Help me to demonstrate YOUR mercy and justice, not my own. Help me to communicate your grace and your truth. I don't want to be like Joseph or his brothers. I want to be like you.

Never let me lose sight of your justice, which Jesus satisfied when he died on the cross for my sins; because that is what makes mercy possible. At the same time, soften my heart, just as you did Joseph's heart, so that your mercy flows through everything, I do. Give me the faith to see your hand at work, even in the troubles and trials that I face, and patience to endure as I wait for your plan to be revealed.

In Jesus' name I pray, Amen